Den komplexa väven: Att organisera för barns övergångar till och från förskoleklass.

Ackesjö, H.
Nordisk Barnehageforskning 11(4), 1-16.


The overall purpose of the study is to examine how children’s transitions to and from a Swedish preschool class (förskoleklass) are organised. More specifically, the study seeks to gain knowledge about the organisational factors determining children’s transitions, and how these factors are expressed in arguments from preschool leaders and school principals regarding the organisation.



Overall, the results show that many different factors influence the organisation of children’s transitions to and from a Swedish preschool class. The study thereby reveals a complex picture of what governs the organisation of transitions.

The quantitative part of the study shows that it is more common to mix groups of children and allocate them to new classes in the transition from preschool to preschool class than in the transition from preschool class to first grade (årskurs 1). In the qualitative part of the study, the author finds that the factors possibly affecting organisation of transitions the most are external factors, such as number of children starting preschool class, number of preschools transferring children to preschool class, size of school district, and parental influence (partly because parents may have different opinions about the composition of groups and classes, and partly because the free choice of school can make organisation of the transition from preschool to preschool class unpredictable and difficult to plan).

Based on these results, the author points out that the number of children, the number of preschools and the size of the school district are factors which are difficult for school principals to change and influence, and they are all closely intertwined. The parents’ influence on group and class composition is a factor that school principals have to address with more flexibility, and which is difficult to predict. Free choice of school also requires principals to be flexible, and this makes it hard to anticipate early on how classes and groups can be composed. Therefore, in the author’s opinion, external factors very much create the framework for how school principals deal with the organisation of transitions.

Furthermore, the study shows that the organisation of transitions is also affected by internal logics and conceptions of how to create a good transition. In this context, the arguments presented by leaders and principals primarily concern the importance of creating social continuity to make children feel safe and confident during the transition. Finally, the results show that the school’s own traditional ways of organising transitions play a role, i.e. the work performed internally at the school is reflected in the principal’s arguments for the organisation of transitions. An example of a school’s own tradition for organising transitions, which appears from the empirical data, is the work with mixed-age F-1 classes. The F-1 system is often applied at schools where the number of students is insufficient to form age-homogeneous classes.



Data material in the study consisted of a questionnaire distributed to preschool leaders and school principals in 30 Swedish municipalities. Leaders and principals from 123 preschools and schools responded to the questionnaire. The questionnaire comprised questions that allowed for multiple answers, and the respondents could add comments and arguments for each question.  The questionnaire was analysed both quantitatively (by counting the answers and presenting distributions in diagrams), and qualitatively (by grouping the arguments regarding the organisation, as presented by leaders and principals, into themes, illustrating the qualitative part of the study).


Ackesjö, H. (2015). Den komplexa väven: Att organisera för barns övergångar till och från förskoleklass. Nordisk Barnehageforskning 11(4), 1-16.

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